Army awards $358M contract for upgraded RQ-7B Shadow drones

The Army Program Manager for Unmanned Aircraft Systems has awarded AAI a $358 million contract award to furnish a fleet of 45 upgraded RQ-7B Shadow Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems that will be used by the Army and Marine Corps, the company said July 9.

Under the contract, AAI will enhance the ground and support systems for the RQ-7B Shadow and will deliver 43 systems to the Army and 2 systems to the Marine Corps in late 2013, the story said.

Among the planned upgrades to the RQ-7B Shadow are extending its endurance from 6 to 9 hours, extending its wing to carry external stores and payloads, providing an electronic fuel injection engine and integrating a Tactical Common Data Link for digital dissemination and encryption.

The upgrade also includes use of universal ground control stations and data terminals.

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